Let me start by saying this unit is in an entirely different league from any other we've covered in our sewing machine reviews. It's LONG list of features reads like a steamy romance novel for a love-starved spinster.
But in all seriousness this machine is designed to handle ANYTHING you care to throw at it. And given it's price tag it should. Let's dig in and take a look at what you get.
The 8900QCP is designed to handle sewing, embroidery, and quilting. One of the first things you'll notice as you sit down to this machine is the 11" throat.
There is a TON of room to the right of the needle. It's easily big enough to handle pants, a jacket, a dress, whatever you want (even a quilt!).
This is, of course, to make quilting as easy as possible, but it makes working with just about anything a pleasure. (The included acrylic extension table also helps with larger projects)
The next big bonus was the lighting. The QCP uses 5 LED lights in the arm to light your work space. You'll be amazed at the difference this amount of light can make. It virtually eliminates shadows. (It also helped to improve my sewing posture as I wasn't forced to lean in close to see all the details of my work)
The controls on the 8900QCP are well laid out and easy to understand. Stitch selection, length, width, and a variety of other functions are set using the buttons on the right hand side of the machine. The dial below the buttons toggles through all the various stitches, fonts, and embroidery patterns.
Should you end up purchasing this machine you'll want to spend some time perusing the manual as there are TONS of automated tasks and functions that can be performed literally with the press of a button.
In addition to the controls on the right hand side of the machine you'll also find a handful on the arm itself. These include buttons for Start/Stop, reverse, auto-lock, needle up/down, thread cutter, and a slider that controls the speed of the machine.
Also on the front of the machine is a socket for a knee lifter attachment. This handy little feature allows you to control the height of the presser foot using your leg instead of having to reach around the back of the machine. This is perfect for quilting or patchwork as it allows you to keep your hands on the fabric.
Foot pressure is adjusted using a dial underneath the top cover. Lower settings should be used for finer fabrics. The LCD will even display the recommended foot pressure setting for each pattern you choose.
The feed dog drop is located on the right hand side of the machine next to the power switch. Simply push the dial away from your body to drop the feed dogs and pull towards your body to raise them back to their original position. The feed dogs will automatically reset to the on position whenever you start the machine.
The 8900 uses a 7-point feed dog system that creates a highly accurate stitch pattern. More on this later.
OK, so there's not enough room to list all of these and describe them so I'm going to throw it all out there and then highlight my favorites.
Phew! You'll also find a ton of included accessories, but more on that later.
Interested in making clothes for yourself or your family? Check out this article where we review the best serger sewing machines for our picks of the top performing models.
One of the first things I noticed when starting on the 8900QCP is how QUIET it is! Compared to my regular machine and serger this guy is essentially silent. No one in the house even knows I'm sewing.
Since I'm a bit of a quilter I decided to work on a piece I've been trying to finish up. The 11" throat is absolutely wonderful. There is SO much room to work with larger pieces.
The 7 piece feed dogs work like a charm. Straight stitching is flawless, the stitches were perfect every time. It was literally impossible to tell the top thread from the bottom when I flipped over my work.
As I suspected the knee lift attachment is awesome for quilting. Simply apply pressure with your leg and up comes the presser foot. Out of the box it was set a little low, but a quick reference to the manual and I had it setup in no time.
The thread cutter function is awesome. I didn't use it at the end of every seam but when you end up in a hard to reach spot it's pretty nice to just be able to press a button. You can also activate this function from the foot pedal which could be really handy.
Speed control is located on the arm of the machine. Easy to adjust and easy to see if you need to do a quick check while working.
Bobbin winding and threading the machine are a cinch.
Looking for something more basic but just as sturdy? Check out our review of the Janome HD3000, my pick for the best heavy duty sewing machine on the market.
The Acufeed system incorporated into this unit is an absolute Godsend. I don't even want to think of the number of times I've been working with multiple layers of fabric and from the top it looks like everything is going perfectly. But upon flipping over my work I find bunching or puckering.
Here is a great video demonstrating how the AcuFeed system works. Quilters will love this feature.
The Acufeed system eliminates this entirely. It's like having feed dogs on top and bottom simultaneously pulling the fabric at EXACTLY the same time. This feature alone makes this machine a quilters dream.
The number of stitches this Janome is capable of producing is a bit mind-blowing. 271 stitches, 61 block patterns and 3 different fonts. I didn't even bother trying to hit them all. Every one that I did try worked beautifully. I'm not one that typically uses a wide range of stitches, but you could spend days playing with everything included on the 8900.
Even the reverse stitching incredibly accurate, stitching into the same row that it started.
Janome definitely doesn't disappoint with the number of feet they include with this machine. Here is the complete list.
You also get a cloth guide, straight stitch needle plate, and an extra large acrylic extension table.
Hook type: Top Loading Full Rotary Hook Bobbin
Thread Tension Control: Automatic
Max Stitch Width: 9mm
Feed System: AcuFeed
Bobbin Winding: Auto-DeClutch
Number of Stitches: 270
Number of Buttonholes: 11
Needle Threader: Built-in
Needle Up/Down: Yes
Free arm: Yes
Drop Feed: Yes
Twin Needle Guard: Yes
Last Stitch Recall: Yes
Knee Lift: Yes
Dimensions: W 20.4" x H 12.4" x D 9.1"
Weight: 26.5 lb
Workspace: W 11" x H 4.7"
The warranty is 25 years on parts, 2 years on electrical parts, and 1 year on labor.
The Janome Memory Craft 8900QCP is an absolute DREAM to work with. The stitch quality is as good as anything I've ever worked on. The AcuFeed system makes working with multiple layers of fabrics (and slippery fabrics) almost mindless.
All of the most commonly used controls are right on the front of the machine and easy to reach. The thread cutting feature is super handy and the led light in the arm makes a huge difference in your ability to see everything you're doing.
Did I mention how much I LOVED the workspace? An 11" throat is so much room, perfect for quilting or anything else you want to work on.
Yes the price tag is high, but this is a quality machine that is going to save you a TON of time and effort.